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Reassessing philosophical views of intellectual disability, Licia Carlson shows how we can affirm the dignity and worth of intellectually disabled people first by ending comparisons to nonhuman animals and then by confronting our fears and discomforts. Carlson presents the complex history of ideas about cognitive disability, the treatment of intellectually disabled people, and social and cultural reactions to them. Sensitive and clearly argued, this book offers new insights on recent trends in disability studies and philosophy.

Licia Carlson has written numerous articles on philosophy and disability and is the co-editor of Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. She is an assistant professor of philosophy at Providence College. This will be vital resource in a variety of disciplines.

Humans All: Changing the Frame on People with Intellectual Disabilities

As such, it is a valuable addition to the philosophical literature on intellectual disability. A Note on Terminology Introduction: The Philosopher's Nightmare Part 1.


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The Institutional World of Intellectual Disability 1. The "Idiot" and the Institution 2.

Gendered Objects, Gendered Subjects 3. Analytic Interlude Part 2. The Philosophical World of Intellectual Disability 4. The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Aug 10, BHodges rated it really liked it. Conceptually, this book is a 4-star, but I considered giving it 3 because Carlson's articulation is a bit jargon-heavy.


  1. The Greatest Gift (1).
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This is to be expected in a philosophy book these days, of course. Carlson examines the history of how people have conceived of intellectual disability.

By tracing the metaphors people have employed she shows how the disabled people have served various purposes in philosophical discourse, but to the end of marginalization or exploitation. There is the face of the beast, the fac Conceptually, this book is a 4-star, but I considered giving it 3 because Carlson's articulation is a bit jargon-heavy. There is the face of the beast, the face of suffering, and a few other faces. Her history work is mostly derivative but her philosophical analysis is solid.

Review of Carlson, The Faces of Intellectual Disability | Moeller | Disability Studies Quarterly

More importantly, it is suggestive of future work. Her book will be useful chiefly to those wishing to avoid stepping on landmines in their own work. This book provides valuable insight into the ins and outs of how we consider intellectual disability. Issues such as the social definition of disability, power relations, suffering, and the history of institutions related to intellectual disability are covered.

Foucault informs part of the discussion. This is an important read if you participate in deciding whether someone has a disability. William Morris rated it it was amazing Sep 08, Liz Stevens rated it it was amazing Mar 04, Tree rated it liked it Jul 28, Raymond rated it it was amazing Jun 05, Mattias Grahn rated it liked it Jan 16, Sara Vogt rated it it was amazing Aug 09, Justin Carone rated it really liked it Jul 25, Chris Gallagher rated it it was amazing Jan 31, Anna rated it it was amazing Feb 21, M added it Dec 27, Richard Ashcroft added it Jul 22, Elie added it Jul 25, Jonathan marked it as to-read Jul 07, Annie marked it as to-read Nov 20, Amber marked it as to-read Jul 16, Ginger marked it as to-read Aug 24, Barb Macdonald added it Nov 02, Alison Coombs added it Mar 06, Shelly Dee marked it as to-read Mar 11, Prasanna marked it as to-read Mar 30, Ian Packer added it Oct 13,

The Faces of Intellectual Disability